BAGUIO CITY, Feb. 3 (PIA) -- Around 150 deputized local government unit (LGU) meat control officers and meat inspectors from all over the country participated in the first national summit held recently by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) here.
NMIS Executive Director Jane Bacayo, in an interview, said the summit aims to convene all deputized meat control officers and meat inspectors to have a short term planning for enforcement implementation in support to the local government’s meat inspection system and to align and harmonize the implementation and enforcement of NMIS issued laws and regulations.
The participants were given updates on the latest NMIS laws and regulations including Administrative Order (AO) 22, which provides the rules and regulations on handling of frozen and chilled meat and meat products in the market and AO 18 on Animal Welfare.
In relation to AO 22, Bacayo stressed the importance of the different LGUs and the local community, to work hand in hand with the national government for a 100 percent success in the implementation of various rules and regulations involving meat products.
Bacayo advised the public, as consumers to always check for the inspection mark when buying meat products and also to buy only from on meat stores or establishments that have inspection certificate especially when buying chilled or frozen meat products.
She also disclosed that aside from government efforts through the NMIS ,in partnership with the different LGUs, in the regular monitoring, confiscation and strict implementation of related regulations and laws, also being pushing in Congress is a proposed bill that would increase the penalties and fines for violations of the Consumer Welfare Act, especially on selling of hot meat and double dead meat.
In another move, the proposed amendment to the Meat Code has been passed in the House of Representatives and also passed first reading in the Senate.
Under the proposed amendment, fine for violating the Meat Code will be increased to 25,000 - P500,000 from the previous fine of P1,000 to 10,000, and imprisonment term of the present two month to one year, to six months to six years, according to Bacayo .
She also informed that the fine and imprisonment will not be confined only to those who will be caught selling hot or double dead meat, but also including the source, the conveyor, as well as the vehicle used in the illegal trade. (JDP/LD-PIA CAR)